Hailing from the always interesting city of Philadelphia and the breezy shores of South Jersey is Neverkept, a rock band that already has their distinct sound figured out. Their do-it-yourself approach is sure to make them a staple in the pop punk genre that both bassist Neale Dimento and I have a huge love and appreciation for. Neale, an East Coaster and current Jersey native, is not only a fan of pop punk, but grew up with it, found himself in it, and has been living his dream doing it for years. This new, quintet has a new single out and old love of the gig. I got to speak to Neale about all of it just last week, when we discussed the band, their goals, their stunning new song, and their constant hard work both on stage and behind the stages.

Let’s talk about this new song of yours “Vertigo.” Did you know right from the get-go that it was going to be the first single?

            Yeah! I can’t go super into detail, but we have like a whole record ready to go, essentially. “Vertigo,” thought, was definitely and without a doubt the single. Of course, a lot of contemplation went into it, like we took each song and broke it down and just decided that “Vertigo” just had the reach. It had everything that a single needed — a good hook, it was just the right length. It had all the little details that make a single a single.

I think “Vertigo” had those check boxes filled out, and we did feel really strongly about it, because it is like an anthem, I guess. That’s how we felt about it. So, coming out of the gate, this was like the first time that anybody has ever heard of us, so we wanted something that was going to be like an uppercut. We wanted to do something that was going to hit really hard and kind of get that attention.

Absolutely! It’s been said to be about taking chances and growing as a person, which is I also think was depicted fantastically in the music video, by the way.

            Thanks! That was all Charlie. Charlie Anderson, he thought the whole thing up. We had like a brief idea and he kind of filled in all of the blanks. He was the guy who directed it. It was just an awesome experience all around. His crew was outstanding, everything got done in a timely matter, and it couldn’t have been any better. The band being silhouetted and all of the nature shots and everything was great, just outstanding.

It looked so great in the end and I’m glad it worked out so well! What inspired the song and why is titled “Vertigo”?

            I think, as far as the title goes, you’ll have to ask Dorian [Cooke], because I’m not really sure. I think vertigo is just like that fear of being high up, that fear of looking down. The whole song is like a proverbial leap of faith essentially, you know, braving something that maybe makes you nervous or kind of have anxiety about. We all have anxiety and depression and stuff, so being in a band is always kind of a crazy experience because you are always dealing with criticism and you are constantly like trying to something, when there are a lot of safe routes, but you aren’t really going to get anywhere taking them.

“Vertigo” is basically a culmination of all of our different experiences and we tried to put that out in a way that would be digestible for an audience. I think that this is something that people deal with on a regular basis, so lyrically it was something that we all felt really strongly about because it is something that we all deal with everyday trying to take that leap of faith or just do something different or change yourself for the better every single day. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to fall a lot, but it’s worth it.

I definitely understand that. It really held that message; it wasn’t something you had to search for or anything. You felt it’s message right from the beginning of the song.

            [Laughs] Yeah, it’s pretty literal! There aren’t a whole lot of metaphors going on there.

That’s ok! It’s great!

            That was our intention! We wanted it to be straightforward. With a message like that, you shouldn’t have to dig for it, it’s a message that has to be said and should be said more often. I don’t know, but people should just do the things that scare them…at least, I think that, personally.

I agree! It goes with the whole ‘you only live once’ mantra.

            Exactly, yeah!

This song actually brought you guys to the top, number one slot on Spotify’s “Pop Punk’s Not Dead” playlist. That’s so sick and such a big deal, especially it being your first single. Speaking of pop punk — and now in a world where Warped Tour is coming to a close — what do you think about pop punk in 2018?

            It’s crazy! But, I actually think pop punk is in a good place. My whole thing with that genre is that I feel like it branches out a lot. You have the people who were into Blink 182, but at the same time had people who were into Lattermen. Even like Lifetime or Saves the Day and stuff, you know what I mean? It branches out more than like from the bubblegum kind of stuff that’s current, like Fall Out Boy or All Time Low or something. Then you have Reviver and Daggermouth and some of these older bands. It’s a wider net of music than people realize, so I think it is at a good place right now, but maybe it just doesn’t have the air play that it did in like the earlier 2000s.

I think it is a really important genre and it has been hanging around for a while now. It’s not like our parent’s generation where disco was around for a couple years and then it kind of just fizzled out. I think that culture is really important, as well. A lot of people kind of found themselves, myself included, when kind of getting into that scene, if you will. That group of people playing shows and everything had a level of acceptance where you found people who were just like you that maybe you didn’t know existed before until you went to a show. I guess you can say that about anything or any genre, but specifically, I feel like pop punk affected a lot of people that are part of this generation.

For sure! There is definitely a big community within that genre.

            Exactly! That is a perfect word for it. It’s indisputable. There are a lot of people that I met through that that I am still friends with because of that. People that I didn’t go to school with or anything. People I just know from that genre and from those shows that I have a common interest with that is truly like glue and kept and brought a lot of people together.

Of course. It’s evident! Like we talked about earlier, most of you guys call South Jersey and Philly home. Did growing up there influence your music or your approach to music in any way?

            Yeah, I think so. The thing with Philly is that there is a lot of diversity; like a lot of cities have, but especially so in Philly and especially when it comes to music. It’s the kind of place where if you want to go to a dirty punk show in like a house somewhere, you can do that. You can go to a jazz cafe in the same night or go to a dive bar and listen to blues music. Anything you want to listen to, you can do that on any given Saturday if you really looked hard enough.

None of us in this band are like diehards about one genre of music in particular. We all kind of listen to everything and that definitely plays into our writing process and everything. Everybody hits a wall here and there, but for the most part we don’t. It is pretty fluid with us, because we are always thinking about different things. There are five of us, so somebody might be stuck on something and then somebody else will swoop in and pick up the guitar and be like, “Oh, why don’t you try this?” We are always suggesting different things and we all have so many different influences from different genres and a lot of that has a lot to do with Philadelphia, in my opinion.

Also, the whole DIY approach, I think that has definitely been a watermark of this area. South Jersey and Philly has really brought out some independent people and artists who are putting on shows in theirs houses and VFWs and Knights of Columbus’. [Laughs] I mean, it’s like anywhere you can play. If you want it to happen, you can make it happen. I know kids who would just like buy blank CDs or make CD cases out of like paper and just stamp their logo on it. Nothing was unheard of, nothing is out of the question. If you want something to happen, you can find a way to make it happen and there are plenty of artists around here — and not necessarily music either — that will help you kind of visualize what you want and find your vision in some capacity or another. Everyone helps everyone out and everyone is kind of in the same boat.

We’ve definitely got that sense of culture in this area, which is what makes it such a good place to live, work, and grow as artists.

            Hell yeah! Anything you want to do is in reach.

Absolutely! Speaking of places filled with culture, you guys are playing the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn next week, which is bound to be a great show. What is in store for the full, live performance from you guys?

            I mean, we’re overall just really excited to play that venue. I know that it is kind of a legendary place, but either way it has always been on my personal bucket list of places to play. We’re all just really excited to get in front of that crowd and be lost in society and payments and stress. Just kind of get out there, too, because we haven’t had a big show like this since “Vertigo” was dropped, so this will be the first kind of like… showcase, if you will, of that live performance.

We have been road dogs for years playing in front of people, but I don’t know, I could probably count on one hand the amount of shows that we have played of this caliber that we are excited to play new stuff in front of. It’s going to be fun! I think our stage presence is very energetic and we’re pretty engaging with the audience. We’re all just up there ready to have a good time, so I think it’ll be cool to meet some people who are coming out.

Definitely! I think you guys are really going to keep building on your fanbase starting off with this new song and this live show.

            Thank you! I appreciate that.

So, now that there is a lead single and some songs and maybe an album already in the works, is there anything in the near future that we can expect and look forward to from you guys? Anything you can let our readers in on?

            Like I said, there is a lot of stuff going on between PR and management that I can’t really talk about just yet, but we are definitely looking to drop another single in the next few months, hopefully soon. As far as shows go, there is a lot of that that is still in the works. Right now, we are kind of in that marketing and PR phase, so there’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes and on the back end that aren’t ready to be talked about yet, but they’ll be here soon enough hopefully.

 

Catch Neverkept performing live at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on August 12.

 

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